Take time to plan your move­able decor

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - DEB­BIE TRAVIS

WITH stu­dents head­ing off to col­lege, or set­ting up home for a first job, comes the chal­lenge of fur­nish­ing a rented space that will carry them through the next few years in rel­a­tive com­fort.

The im­por­tant choices cen­tre around a bed, a desk and kitchen necessities. Style isn’t a first pri­or­ity, but it can be slipped into the mix. Here are some ideas that fit any bud­get and are easy to move around from year to year.

You can cre­ate a per­son­al­ized head­board that will have last­ing ap­peal eas­ily with a lit­tle paint and some imag­i­na­tion. Old head­boards can be found at yard sales and sec­ond-hand shops. Or build your own from ply­wood and a sim­ple frame. All that’s re­quired is a flat sur­face onto which to make a com­pelling vista. For those trav­el­ling far from home, a sil­hou­ette of a fa­mil­iar land­scape is a fun way to stay con­nected.

For the head­board shown here, we painted an evening sky as the back­drop for the sky­line. The ef­fect, called om­bre, is cre­ated by grad­u­at­ing three shades of paint from dark to light. The basecoat is a very pale blue. Once dry, ap­ply a strip of dark blue along the top, then medium blue in the mid­dle that slightly over­laps the dark blue, and fin­ish with a band of white that slightly over­laps the medium blue. While the paint is still wet, pull a dry brush through all the bands of colour to blend. Let the om­bre sky dry overnight.

For the sky­line sil­hou­ette, pho­to­copy or draw the de­sign, trace it onto a large sheet of My­lar and cut out the sky­line with a sharp knife. The sten­cil will sit along the top of the head­board with the sky­line cut out along the bot­tom of the My­lar. Stick the sten­cil in po­si­tion with sten­cil ad­he­sive. Ap­ply black paint with a roller be­low the sten­cil cutout. Re­move the sten­cil care­fully and let dry. For ad­di­tional ef­fect, stamp a few stars and a sliver of moon high in the sky. Fin­ish with two coats of var­nish for sheen and pro­tec­tion.

For other fur­ni­ture pieces, think about com­bin­ing roles to get op­ti­mum use. A stor­age trunk for cloth­ing can dou­ble as seat­ing placed in the bed­room or liv­ing room. Give it a coat of paint that ties in with the head­board. Check out hang­ing clothes di­viders and shelves that can hold books and notes as well as sweaters and shoes. A desk may need to dou­ble as a din­ing ta­ble, so choose as large a flat sur­face as you can fit into your plans. A drop-leaf din­ing ta­ble is por­ta­ble and of­fers ver­sa­til­ity.

You will need cur­tains for the bed­room win­dow. Opt for sim­ple panels that hang from or clip onto a rod. Th­ese are easy to put up and fit most win­dows. You can also make cur­tains from many fab­rics de­pend­ing on your style. Any­thing from burlap to blan­kets will work. Some cush­ions for the bed or floor can be cov­ered the same way. If you are not a sewer, there’s sewer’s dou­ble-sided sticky tape avail- able for seams and hems.

Take a bit of time to plan your mov­able decor, then en­joy the new ad­ven­ture wher­ever it takes you. Deb­bie Travis’ House to Home col­umn is pro­duced by Deb­bie Travis and Bar­bara Din­gle. Please email your ques­tions to house­2home@deb­bi­etravis.com. You can fol­low Deb­bie on Twit­ter at www.twit­ter. com/deb­bie_­travis, and visit Deb­bie’s new web­site, www.deb­bi­etravis.com.

With a lit­tle paint and imag­i­na­tion, you can cre­ate a per­son­al­ized head­board.

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